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The Los Alamos girls tennis team finished second at the pre-District 2-4A tournament in Santa Fe this past weekend.
Los Alamos, which is the 14-time defending district champion, dropped three of its four 2-4A opponents, but was nipped by the Santa Fe Demons to open last weekend’s tournament.
The pre-district contests were played at Capital High School. The primary purpose of the matches are to figure out seeding for the upcoming district championships, which are scheduled for May 2-3.
Los Alamos had little trouble dispatching Bernalillo, Capital and Española Valley — it had the luxury of moving players around for the Bernalillo and Capital matches — but lost 5-4 to the Santa Fe Demons.
This season, the Demons sport a strong up-and-comer, eighth grader Brandee Fulgenzi. Fulgenzi, a member of the most prolific tennis family in the state, plays as the Demons’ No. 1 singles and not only won at that spot against the Hilltoppers, but she and doubles partner Greta Miller also picked up a decisive win at No. 1 doubles in the win.
With its win, Santa Fe earned the No. 1 seed for the 2-4A tournament, although a rematch with Los Alamos is quite likely in the team finals.
For the Hilltoppers, their regular No. 1 starter, Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff, went 1-1 on the weekend. Hsieh-Ratliff, a freshman, had little trouble dispatching Española Valley’s Anna Sanchez 6-0, 6-1, but she was downed 6-1, 6-0 by Fulgenzi in their head-to-head matchup.
For its contests against Capital and Bernalillo, the Hilltoppers moved Laura Whicker into the No. 1 slot, where she downed Sabrina Coto of Capital and Rachel Layden of Bernalillo, both in straight sets.
Against Santa Fe, Los Alamos managed a split of the singles contests — Astrid Hengartner at No. 4, Lauryn Anaya at No. 5 and Lauren Fulgate at No. 6 all won — but Santa Fe won the Nos. 1 and 3 doubles contests. Hengartner/Whicker defeated Santa Fe’s Kristin Mackowski/Megan Varnum at No. 2 doubles, 6-1, 6-1.
Española Valley, meanwhile, finished third in team competition. Los Alamos, which defeated Española Valley 9-0 at last weekend’s tournament, also won 9-0 Monday afternoon in another head-to-head match.
Whicker played at the No. 1 singles slot Monday as well, topping Sanchez 6-2, 6-0, while Hengartner was a winner at No. 2 singles, topping Arielle Martinez 6-4, 6-1.
Los Alamos won eight of the nine matches against Española Valley in straight sets. The only match in which the Sundevils were able to force a third set was at No. 3 doubles, but the Hilltoppers’ Kaitlin Lemke/Maia Menefee bounced back after dropping the second set to top Angelica Quintana/Tyler Archuleta 6-1, 5-7, 10-7.